2013 forecast for the channel landscape

IDC delivers 10 predictions for the channel market in 2013

IDC has unveiled a set of 10 predictions for the channel market in 2013.

The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment and the tier 2 cities will be the two areas the IT vendor community will focus on to drive growth in the coming months, according to IDC analysts.

And with the increasing focus on the SME segment, the channel outreach will become more relevant than ever before. "The role of the ISV in the ecosystem will change dramatically. Cloud and Enterprise Mobility will throw a spanner in the works as will Big Data. Social Media will see clarity and channel enablement will become ever so relevant," said Suchitra Narayan, senior research manager, IDC Asia/Pacific.

The 10 predictions that IDC said will have the biggest commercial impact on the region are:

1) The ISV community will be the rising star in the channel ecosystem, thanks to business transformation in various industries, the new technology impact as well as the change to the fundamental ecosystem of the ISV.

2) The vendors will also be seeking a formal relationship with the ISV community and increase their commitment via creative means such as research funds that the latter will be able to tap into.

3) According to IDC, the four pillars of technology - Cloud, social media, mobility and social media - have introduced new business models and processes. As such, the channels need to move quickly to adapt to these changes; 2013 will see the vendors enabling the channels and working with them to execute business plan rollouts.

4) Distributors will start to add value upstream and downstream and seek to explore alternative streams of revenue to credit, logistics and financing. The aggregation of virtual and physical assets into "value bundles" will see more maturity in 2013.

5) Telcos looking to grab a share of the Enterprise Mobility pie will seek out the relationships with this market segment. IDC expects telcos to start building relationships with the SIs and VARs who currently hold the key to the enterprise gateway.

6) While the concept of SMB-in-a-box has been spoken of for years, 2013 will be the simplification of this model with features including analytics, processes and vertical solutions being delivered as a cloud-based solution.

7) Vendors have directly owned and managed the relationships and implementations through the first phase of rollouts of Big Data systems. They will seek to scale out in 2013. Incorporating their learning and best practices into the SIs will enable them to take their Appliances mainstream.

8) In the social media space, the vendors and channel community have struggled to find a happy medium and fine balance between connectivity, communication and collaboration. IDC believes that freemium tools will start to be the focus for better enabling the peer to peer networking among the channel community.

9) Expect strong marketing activities from the channel players. IDC predicts marketing material, and access to information and presentations becoming more seamless as organizations either built out their own concierge services or outsource marketing concierge services to niche companies who offer this as a service.

10) The battle for talent intensifies in 2013. The channel community will experience creative partnering and P2P solutions as well as subcontracting cropping up as a standard means to approach market needs.

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